Scott Sheldon homered for a fifth straight game Friday — one shy of the Pacific League record — and the Orix BlueWave pounded the Daiei Hawks 17-0 at Fukuoka Dome.
Sheldon went 3-for-4, including a three-run homer in the first inning, and scored three runs as the BlueWave equaled season highs in the PL for hits (19) and runs scored in a single game.
Takeshi Hidaka hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs and Fernando Seguignol connected for a three-run pinch-hit homer for Orix.
BlueWave lefty Masahiko Kaneda (4-6) allowed only four hits for his first shutout victory in two years.
Marines 7, Fighters 3
At the Tokyo Dome, Takashi Tachikawa put Lotte on top with a two-run homer in the fifth inning and Saburo Omura chased in two runs in the seventh to lift Lotte over Nippon Ham.
Kosuke Kato (4-9) gave up three runs on a pair of homers in the fourth, but picked up the win on Tachikawa’s go-ahead homer in the fifth. Brian Sikorski notched three strikeouts in recording the final four outs for the Marines.
Swallows 4, Carp 1
Roberto Petagine hit a three-run homer in the first inning as Yakult ended a three-game losing skid with a victory over Hiroshima and regained second place in the CL standings.
Yakult southpaw rookie Masanori Ishikawa (6-5) held Hiroshima to one run on eight hits over six innings for the win and Shingo Takatsu needed only five pitches in the ninth to close out the game for his 21st save of the season.
Giants 12, Dragons 1
At the Nagoya Dome, Tomohiro Nioka hit a pair of two-run homers and Shinnosuke Abe singled and doubled and drove in four runs as Yomiuri pounded Chunichi.
Yomiuri starter Kimiyasu Kudo labored over seven innings, throwing 124 pitches, but held Chunichi to one run on seven hits while striking out eight for the Giants’ third win in a row.
Tigers 9, BayStars 1
At Yokohama Stadium, Atsushi Kataoka singled home two runs in Hanshin’s four-run second inning and drew a walk in the fourth to force in another run as the Tigers rolled over the last-place BayStars.
Hanshin southpaw Trey Moore (7-6) struck out seven over six innings and allowed only one run and six hits for the win.
Matsuzaka takes mound
TOKOROZAWA, Saitama Pref. (Kyodo) Seibu Lions right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka on Friday took the mound for some pitching practice for the first time since injuring his right elbow on May 29.
Matsuzaka threw 60 pitches off the mound in the bullpen at Seibu Dome in Saitama Prefecture and appeared satisfied to be throwing hard again.
“There isn’t any pain at all in my elbow and I’m not worried about it in the least,” Matsuzaka said with apparent satisfaction, even though a number of pitches were well out of the strike zone.
“I was trying my best to throw some nice pitches, but a number of pitches got away from me,” added the two-time Pacific League strikeout leader.
While some observers suggested that Matsuzaka return to the mound for the front-running Lions in mid-August, Seibu manager Haruki Ihara hinted, “He might be able to pitch in a game in early August.”
Matsuzaka was taken off the Lions’ 28-man active roster on May 30 after complaining of a soreness in his elbow, after lasting less than five innings in a 3-2 loss to the Daiei Hawks.
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